Archive for July, 2009

Stanford gets Woodward DE Anderson

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Stanford has an eye for Georgia talent. The Cardinal got its third commitment here when Woodward Academy’s Henry Anderson, the highest-profile of its prospects, chose the Pac-10 school.

Anderson, a 6-foot-6, 245-pound defensive, joins Gainesville teammates Daunte Carr, a safety, and Tai-ler Jones, a receiver. Anderson’s Woodward teammate Juwan Thompson committed to Duke last week and another teammate, Delino DeShields, has yet to commit. But DeShields has another fundamental choice to make — whether he’s going to follow the baseball bloodlines of his ex-major leaguer father or pursue football.

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Douglass’ Smith narrows list, keeps Georgia on it

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Douglass defensive tackle Garrison Smith, one of the most coveted prospects in the nation, has narrowed his list of schools to 10.

Kipp Adams of ugasports.com reports the good news for Georgia fans — the Bulldogs are still on the list. He spoke with the 6-foot-4, 255-pound rising senior and found out who the other nine were. Click on the link to find out who the other nine are and who surprisingly did not make the list. It’s a pay site; a subscription is required.

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Forensics-football combo could land Cornileus

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Stephenson linebacker Tyrone Cornileus is taking his time. Having narrowed his list of favorites to four — Georgia Tech, Miami, South Carolina and Tennessee, he reiterated Monday — he’s still determining which will win.

Coming off a season in which he recorded 118 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles and two interceptions, Cornileus has many wanting to know when he’ll make his choice.

“I’m still unsure,” he told the AJC. “Probably by the end of the month, before the season starts.”

Cornileus, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound rising senior, wants to study engineering or forensics wherever he ends up, so that will play a role in his decision.

“It’ll be based on academics,” he said, “and my bond with the coaching staff.”

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Master’s for an academic liability? Dogs could make it so

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

When Jakar Hamilton was getting ready to graduate from Strom Thurmond High in Johnston, S.C., he thought he was headed for a collegiate career under Steve Spurrier’s tutelage. The Gamecocks were clearly his favorite.

Academics, however, clearly were not.

Upon failing to qualify, Hamilton — with a little advice from South Carolina coaches — detoured to Georgia Military Academy in Milledgeville, where he became a junior college All-America defensive back. Now the 6-foot-2, 196-pound college sophomore, once an academic liability, could choose to attend Georgia in part, he says, because it has offered to pay for him to get his master’s degree.

How’s that for a 180-degree turnaround?

Time has passed and South Carolina has faded from the picture. His choices have come down to Georgia and Alabama, and he’s expected to announce his commitment by the end of the week.

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OL prospect unfazed by Tech’s wait-and-see approach

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

If Georgia Tech is taking a wait-and-see approach with Knoxville Catholic offensive guard Zak Tait, it should hardly be surprising, given the severity of the 2007 knee injury that cost him all of 2008 as well.

But it’s hardly fazing the 6-foot-4, 295-pound rising senior, who suffered three torn ligaments in his left knee on Sept. 21, 2007, and two surgeries since to repair them.

Tait tells Dave Hooker of the Knoxville News Sentinel that he’s already got more scholarship offers than he needs, with Colorado, Iowa State and New Mexico having anted up. And even with the injury and the time it has cost Tait on the playing field, the News Sentinel ranks him the state of Tennessee’s ninth-best prospect.

“I could have 100 offers but at the end of day I’m only going to go to one place and play for one team,” Tait told Hooker.

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Johnson confirms he accelerated LSU decision

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

So, did Storm Johnson actually commit or not? He says he did.

After telling the Rivals and Scout recruiting services that he would commit on July 11, Loganville’s 6-foot-1, 217-pound rising senior confirmed that he accelerated the decision-making process and committed to LSU on Tuesday.

“I already had the schools I wanted on my list,” Johnson told the AJC Thursday evening. “I sat down with my family and we went over who was a good fit for me.”

That he determined LSU is the best fit isn’t surprising, considering the Tigers had been his favorite all along. He still plans to make the trip to Baton Rouge on July 11. Before he enrolls in 2010, he wanted to make sure his senior season would be more challenging, which is why he transferred from Class AA Buford to Class AAA Loganville.

“At Buford, you don’t play four quarters,” said Johnson, alluding to the Class AA champion Wolves’ propensity to blow out overmatched opponents and then play reserves …

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July fireworks to come?

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Now that Georgia and Georgia Tech have secured commitments from some of the state’s premium Class of 2010 talent, the ones that haven’t committed are drawing increased interest.

With the dawning of July, more attention likely will fall on guys like Douglass defensive tackle Garrison Smith, Henry County receiver Markeith Ambles, M.L. King running back Mack Brown, Southwest DeKalb defensive end T.J. Stripling and Warner Robins defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker –- some of the state’s best available talent.

Brown may be the first to commit. Though recruiting services have reported his preferences as Georgia and Florida, Brown himself was careful to include Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma in a conversation with the AJC. But he’s planning to visit the reported favorites next week.

Stripling also favors Georgia and Florida. Now that SWD teammates Jonathan Mincy (Auburn) and Kendrun Malcome (Georgia) have committed, Stripling likely won’t remain …

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Johnson: From Buford to Loganville to LSU

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Loganville’s Storm Johnson, the state’s second-best running back prospect, is committing to LSU. The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans ran an item under the headline “LSU signs Georgia high school running back Storm Johnson,” which isn’t entirely accurate since the football signing period is quite a ways off.

Johnson, a 6-foot-1, 217-pound rising senior, transferred from Buford to Loganville after last season. He had 1,300 yards and 21 touchdownson 165 carries for the Class AA champion Wolves last season.

He’s the second metro area player to commit to LSU, joining Northview tight end Cameron Fordham. He is the third from Georgia, including Troup’s Brandon Worle. His decision to become a Bayou Bengal — rather than an Oklahoma Sooner or a Florida Gator — is not a surprise.

Johnson had told both the rivals and scout recruiting services that he would commit on July 11, and his quote in the New Orleans paper — “I have committed to LSU” — would …

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A degree of difficulty: How Carr chose Stanford

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Daunte Carr has his mind set on biomedical engineering. The more the Gainesville safety thought about it, the more he discussed it with his parents, and the more he discussed it with his parents, the more it became apparent that Stanford was the right place for him.

When the Carrs sat around the table, UCLA, N.C. State, Wake Forest and Miami were also part of the discussion. “It was an in-depth conversation,” the 6-foot-2, 196-pound rising senior told the AJC. “It didn’t happen in the first five minutes. We talked about it for a long time. And then it went from my top five to my top four to my top three. And finally I chose the right one.”

Stanford’s the right one, not because Gainesville teammate Tai-ler Jones is also going there, but because of the weight a degree from the Palo Alto, Calif., university will carry in the long run.

“It’ll take me further than all my other schools,” Carr said. “It’s a lot higher, a lot stronger. Once I got the …

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